Moc on specified skilled worker
The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the Government of India and Government of Japan, on a Basic Framework for Partnership for Proper Operation of the System Pertaining to “Specified Skilled Worker”.
- The MOC would set an institutional mechanism for partnership and cooperation between India and Japan on sending and accepting skilled Indian workers, who have qualified the required skill and Japanese language test, to work in fourteen specified sectors in Japan.
- These Indian workers would be granted a new status of residence of “Specified Skilled Worker” by the Government of Japan.
- Implementation Strategy: Under this MOC, a Joint Working Group will be set up to follow up the implementation of this MOC.
- Major Impact: It would enhance people-to -people contacts, foster mobility of workers and skilled professionals from India to Japan.
Source : PIB
The new Director General, Border Road Organisation (BRO), Lt General Rajeev Chaudhry briefed Government of India about the Chattergala tunnel
- The proposed Chattergala tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir will connect district Kathua with district Doda enroute the new Highway via Basohli-Bani through Chattergalla to touch Bhaderwah and Doda.
- This is going to be a historic landmark project providing all-weather alternate road connectivity between the two distant regions and reducing the travel time from Doda to Lakhanpur on the Punjab border to just around four hours.
- It is going to be a 6.8 Km long tunnel. The tunnel is likely to take about 4 years for completion after the execution work starts and its construction cost is around Rs. 3,000 crore.
Source : Times of India
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India is organizing ‘Udyog Manthan’ in association with Quality Council of India, National Productivity Council, and Industry bodies.
- Udyog Manthan is a marathon of focused sector-specific webinars for promoting Quality and Productivity in Indian Industry.
- It is being held from January 4, 2021 to March 2, 2021.
- The webinar series comprising 45 sessions will cover various major sectors in manufacturing and services. Udyog Manthan will identify challenges, opportunities; draw upon solutions and best practices.
- Participants will include representatives from industry, testing and standardization bodies. The discussions will be live streamed on YouTube for all those interested in following the sessions.
Source : DD News
Union Minister for Science & Technology inaugurated one of the seven labs of the world called as the centralized network lab of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) established at Translational Health Science & Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad.
- The CEPI centralized laboratory at DBT-THSTI Faridabad is first of its kind in India and one of the seven in the world
- THSTI is an institute of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT). This is the only laboratory of such kind in India and is also accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) (ISO 17025:2017).
- CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organizations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics.
- The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India is implementing the Ind-CEPI mission titled ‘India Centric Epidemic Preparedness through Rapid Vaccine Development: Supporting Indian Vaccine Development Aligned with the Global Initiative of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)’.
- Ind-CEPI Mission aims to strengthen the development of vaccines for the diseases of epidemic potential in India as well as build coordinated preparedness in the Indian public health system and vaccine industry to address existing and emergent infectious threats in India.
Source : PIB
Bird flu has been reported among wild geese in Himachal Pradesh, crows in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and ducks in Kerala. In Haryana, around one lakh poultry birds have died mysteriously in the last few days.
- Avian influenza or bird flu is a highly contagious viral disease caused by Influenza Type A viruses which generally affects poultry birds such as chickens and turkeys.
- There are many strains of the virus – some of them are mild and may merely cause a low egg production or other mild symptoms among chickens, while others are severe and lethal.
- Wild aquatic birds such as ducks and geese are the natural reservoir of Influenza A viruses and the central players in the ecology of these viruses.
History of bird flu among humans:
- It was in 1997 when humans are first known to have contracted bird flu following an outbreak in a live bird market of Hong Kong. It was the H5N1 strain of the virus.
- Subsequently, several other strains of the virus such as H5N2 and H9N2 spread from animals to humans, thus becoming a global public health concern.
Does it spread easily to humans?
- No, it does not. Generally, people coming in close contact with infected alive or dead birds have contracted the H5N1 bird flu, and it does not usually spread from person to person.
- There is also no evidence, that the disease can be spread to people through properly prepared and cooked poultry food. The virus is sensitive to heat, and dies in cooking temperatures.
Important Info :
- Unlike in birds, where it generally infects the gut, the avian influenza attacks the respiratory tract of humans and may cause severe respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
- Its early symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, and sometimes abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
- Antiviral drugs, especially oseltamivir, improve the prospects of survival in humans.
- Among poultry birds, vaccination strategies advised by the World Organisation for Animal Health can be used to prevent the flu.
Source : Indian Express
The Supreme Court clarified the position of law on the interplay of vertical and horizontal reservations. The decision in Saurav Yadav versus State of Uttar Pradesh dealt with issues arising from the way different classes of reservation were to be applied in the selection process to fill posts of constables in the state.
- Reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes is referred to as vertical reservation. It applies separately for each of the groups specified under the law.
- Horizontal reservation refers to the equal opportunity provided to other categories of beneficiaries such as women, veterans, the transgender community, and individuals with disabilities, cutting through the vertical categories.
- The horizontal quota is applied separately to each vertical category, and not across the board.
- The interlocking of the two types of reservation throws up a host of questions on how certain groups are to be identified. For example would an SC woman be put in the category of women or SC?
Important Info :
Saurav Yadav case:
- The court ruled that if a person belonging to an intersection of vertical-horizontal reserved category had secured scores high enough to qualify without the vertical reservation, the person would be counted as qualifying without the vertical reservation, and cannot be excluded from the horizontal quota in the general category.
- It argued that if both vertical and horizontal quotas were to be applied together then the overall selection would have candidates with lower scores.
Source : Indian Express
A geophysical survey, namely, Magneto-telluric (MT) is being conducted over the Delhi region.
- The National Capital Region of Delhi experienced 4 small earthquakes during April – August 2020. These earthquakes were followed by a dozen of micro-events (M<3.0) including, a few aftershocks.
- All these events were located by the National Seismological Network (NSN), being operated and maintained by National Seismological Centre (NCS), Ministry of Earth Sciences.
- Subsequently, NCS initiated the Magneto-telluric (MT), a geophysical survey over the Delhi region. This survey is carried out in collaboration with Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), Dehradun.
- Magneto-telluric (MT) is a geophysical method which uses natural time variation of the Earth’s magnetic and electric fields to understand geological (underground) structure and processes.
- These measurements are conducted across three major seismic sources, namely Mahendragarh-Dehradun Fault (MDF), Sohna Fault (SF) and Mathura Fault (MF).
- These measurements will ascertain the presence of fluid, which generally enhances the possibility of triggering of earthquakes.
Source : DD News
On 7th January 2021, Prime Minister Modi will flag off the world’s first Double Stack Long Haul 1.5 Km long Container Train hauled by electric traction from New Ateli -New Kishangarh
- Double Stack Long Haul Container Train Operation will have an enhanced axle load of 25 tons.
- It has been designed for DFCCIL by RDSO’s wagon department. Trial runs of BLCS-A and BLCS-B wagon prototypes have been completed.
- The design will maximize capacity utilization and uniform distributed and point loading.
- These wagons on a long-haul double stack container train on the WDFC can carry four times in terms of container units compared to the current traffic on Indian Railways.
Source : Financial Express
Prime Minister Modi will dedicate to the nation the 306 Km New Rewari – New Madar Section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) on 7th January 2021
- The New Rewari – New Madar section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor is situated in Haryana (approx. 79 Km, in Mahendragarh and Rewari districts) and Rajasthan (approx. 227 Km, in Jaipur, Ajmer, Sikar, Nagaur and Alwar districts).
- It consists of nine newly built DFC stations in which six are crossing stations viz. New Dabla, New Bhagega, New Sri Madhopur, New Pachar Malikpur, New Sakun and New Kishangarh while the other three in New Rewari, New Ateli and New Phulera are junction stations.
Important Info :
- The opening of this stretch will benefit various industries in Rewari – Manesar, Narnaul, Phulera and Kishangarh areas of Rajasthan & Haryana and will also enable better usage of the container depot of CONCOR at Kathuwas.
- This section will also ensure seamless connectivity with the western ports of Kandla, Pipavav, Mundhra, and Dahej situated in Gujarat.
- With the inauguration of this section, seamless connectivity between the WDFC and EDFC will be achieved. Earlier the 351-km New Bhaupur- New Khurja section of the EDFC was dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister on 29th December 2020.
Source : Hindustan Times